A few years ago, almost 2 decades ago, my son’s in-laws invited me to Thanksgiving diner. I was going to bring desert in the form of Pumpkin Pie. Now when I make Pumpkin Pie I don’t use that canned stuff, but will chop up, cook then mash the real thing. That is a bit of work, but then I have done all the work, sorry Libby.
This particular Thanksgiving my older grandson, probably about the age of 3 or 4 said he’s like to help. But his comments about Pumpkin Pie went about like “Yetch!” and that he didn’t like it. But he would come help me do all the work.
Now making pumpkin pie from scratch does involve a bit of work, scrape the innards from the pumpkin, cut it into small pieces and cut off the hard outer skin. I handled the knife, my grandson was too small and it took a bit of strength for the cutting and peeling. But as soon as I had pieces of pumpkin he asked if he could taste one,”Not now!” was my reply. The pieces then went into a pot of boiling water to cook for a few minutes. When they were soft he asked again if he could taste them, and got the same reply.
Next comes the job of turning lumps of pumpkin into the correct consistency for a pie, out comes a Foley Food Mill that was in my family ever since I could remember. I don’t know if it started with my mom or my Grandmother. Never mind, it was mine now. Grandson and I got out some pots to grind the pumpkin into. I showed him how to turn the crank. With that he became my “Chief Smusher”. As you can now guess, after smushing all the pumpkin he wanted to taste, with the same answer.
The next stop was to add the spices and condensed milk. Guess what he wanted to do. You probably guessed, he wanted to taste again. but I still said, “Not yet.”
A couple of hours later after dinner when desert came he announced what his title was, you guessed it “The Chief Smusher“, and began to devour the pie, his comment,”YUM!”. I don’t know if he sill likes pumpkin pie, but nor if he has told his fiancé that they will need a Foley Food Mill, they’re available here. Maybe I should get them one as a wedding present.
There are many recipes, the one I use is a “Tawney Pumpkin Pie“, found in the late 1960’s edition of the “Womans Day Encyclopedia of Cooking“, sadly long out of print. Use any recipe but substitute real pumpkin for the canned stuff, and add your own mixture of spices instead of pre-mixed pie-spice. You can bask in the knowledge that it is your own creation.
P.S. A note from “The Chief Smusher” himself:
… And I still like pumpkin pie. …